On Thursday, October 20, 2016 in Crowell Concert Hall, banjo and vocal duo (and husband and wife) Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn performed original music as well as Appalachian murder ballads, gospel, chamber music, and blues.
Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the entire album on Flickr.
The Shanghai Quartet—violinists Weigang Li and Yi-Wen Jiang, violist Honggang Li, and cellist Nicholas Tzavaras—returned to Wesleyan for their Connecticut debut with pipa (Chinese lute) virtuosa Wu Man to perform “A Night in Ancient and New China,” featuring Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 11, Op. 95; traditional folk songs; and the Connecticut premiere of the new quintet "Red Lantern" by eminent Chinese film composer Zhao Jiping (Raise the Red Lantern, To Live, and Farewell My Concubine) in collaboration with his son Zhao Lin. The concert was held on Friday April 1st in the Crowell Concert Hall. Click here to view the full album on Flickr. Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.
The Connecticut debut of Syrian vocalist/songwriter Gaida, one of the most “effusive and charming” (Timeout New York) singers on the world-music scene was held on Friday, February 5, 2016 in the Crowell Concert Hall.
Click here to view the full album on Flickr. Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.
The Center for the Arts is one of the rare places in the state where you can consistently experience arts from around the world. This semester is no exception. In January and February, the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery hosts the work of ten contemporary Chinese artists born after the Cultural Revolution who are challenging traditional notions of Chinese identity and inventing new ways to shout out in the global arena. In February, Syrian singer Gaida brings her band to Crowell Concert Hall. At a time when her country is under siege, her soulful voice will remind us of the beauty and power of Syrian music and culture. And playwright Guillermo Calderón will discuss his award-winning works about Chile in the aftermath of the dictatorship.
Finally, the Music Department will host a March symposium on the work of the legendary experimental music composer David Tudor and, in April, the Theater Department offers Wes Out-Loud, a site-specific work created by Assistant Professor Marcela Oteíza and her students.
The semester ends on May 7 with Feet to the Fire: Riverfront Encounter, the second annual eco-arts festival featuring world music bands, educational exhibits, and site-specific performance works by area organizations at Middletown’s Harbor Park, located on the bank of the Connecticut River.
This year, we are looking forward to introducing you to artists who are asking important questions about our world today, questioning why things are the way they are, and helping us to envision how they might be.
At a time when our country is struggling to find its way in terms of race relations, we’ve invited writer/performer Daniel Beaty to campus for a residency that includes the October 9 performance of Mr. Joy, his highly acclaimed tour de force solo show about a community’s efforts to heal in order to dream again.
Composer, visual artist, and new media innovator R. Luke DuBois takes over the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery from September 16 through December 13 with his exhibition In Real Time, creating maps, scores, and videos that use real-time data flows and media footage to raise questions of artistic agency, privacy, and fair use. In time for the election season, the CFA has commissioned him to create a new work using research generated by the Wesleyan Media Project.
All this shares the fall schedule with performances by faculty and students, including the final class performance by students of Adjunct Professor of Music Abraham Adzenyah, who is retiring after teaching Ghanaian drumming at Wesleyan for the past 45 years. You won’t want to miss that concert on December 4.
As always, we hope you will look to the CFA as a place of enlightenment and enjoyment in the months ahead.
The Connecticut premiere of The Nile Project featured a dozen musicians performing collaboratively composed songs drawn from the diverse styles and instruments of the countries along the Nile Basin—including Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, and Uganda—intertwining these traditions into a unified sound that is “joyous and even raucous” (NPR Music) on April 10, 2015 in Crowell Concert Hall. Click here to view the full album on flickr. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.
Wesleyan University is a center for creativity and innovation, and one of the best places for our community to come together to participate in that energy is at the Center for the Arts. Our year-long exploration of Muslim Women’s Voices in performance continues on February 27 with a rare opportunity to see a dance company coming to Middletown from the northernmost tip of Sumatra, Indonesia. The dances of Tari Aceh! feature quick, highly-coordinated movements of hands, heads, and torsos, punctuated by lively body percussion. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. And on April 17 and 18, you can get a first look at a theatrical work-in-progress by playwright and actress Leila Buck ’99 that was commissioned for Muslim Women’s Voices.
In April and May, we present “The Connecticut Meets the Nile,” a two-part happening that will highlight two great rivers. On April 10, Crowell Concert Hall hosts The Nile Project, an all-star gathering of musicians who live in the countries that border the Nile River and have come together to create music that draws attention to the environmental issues of a historic river that sustains millions of people. Then on May 9, at Middletown’s Harbor Park, Wesleyan and regional partner organizations present Feet to the Fire: Riverfront Encounter, an afternoon of music performances, visual art, and kid’s activities that will engage our community with our own beautiful river.
And throughout the winter and spring, you can put your finger on the pulse of what’s inspiring our newest artists by visiting the Senior Thesis Exhibitions in Zilkha Gallery, or by attending thesis performances by music, dance, and theater students performed throughout the CFA.
The New England debut of Riffat Sultana and Party took place on November 7, 2014, at Crowell Concert Hall. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.